TORONTO, Canada -- When you are 19 years old and the first player to win your country's biggest title in 50 years, obviously the demands on your time are quite heavy. Still, Bianca Andreescu, who zoomed to her second WTA title of the season at the Rogers Cup this week, is trying her best to take it all in stride.
"It's been pretty hectic," said the Canadian teenager during her post-match press conference, mere hours after her triumph. "I've been talking to a lot of people, taking a lot of pictures. So it really hasn't sunk in yet."
Andreescu has not yet had time to even look at the messages of congratulations pouring in: "I want to stay away from that tonight and just enjoy the moment right now. But don't worry, I'll answer everyone tomorrow," she laughed.
World No.27 Andreescu notched her third Top 10 of the week in the final, improving her outstanding career record against Top 10 players to 7-0. The victory, however, did not come the way she wanted it to, after 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams needed to retire after just four games due to a back injury.
"It's not easy for Serena, for sure, to pull out, especially to pull out in a final," said Andreescu. "I know how she feels because I've done that many times in my short career. But sometimes you just have to listen to your body."
"I didn't notice anything whatsoever," Andreescu mused, regarding Williams's injury. "It was very surprising. But sometimes things happen, and, sadly, it had to be like that. But I wish her the fastest recovery."
Andreescu came over to console and converse with Williams after the American legend's retirement. "'You're going to bounce back,'" Andreescu said she told Williams during their chat. "'You've dealt with so much in your career, this is just a minor setback for a major comeback, I'm sure.'"
Andreescu decided to take her own advice and withdraw from next week's event in Cincinnati. "I've never been there, so I'm really disappointed to say that I have to withdraw from the tournament," the Canadian said in a statement later on Sunday. "I really have to listen to my body right now. This past week hasn't been easy on it, so I'm going to listen to it and hopefully next year I'll be good to go."
— WTA (@WTA) August 11, 2019
Andreescu has struggled with injuries all season since her equally stunning run to her first career-title at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. In fact, this was her first event since giving Sofia Kenin a walkover in the second round of Roland Garros at the end of May.
"I meditate a lot, I visualize a lot," Andreescu stated. "I know I've said that a lot at Indian Wells. I think it's really important to work your mind just as hard as you work physically.
"I think a lot of people just work physically and forget about the mental part, but in reality your brain is controlling your body. So if you're strong mentally, then I think you can find other resources to push your body physically if things aren't going your way in that sense. And I think that's what I've been doing this week and the past season."
Now, Andreescu has two WTA Premier titles to her name, and will make her Top 15 debut in the WTA Rankings on Monday.
"The win in Indian Wells was a hard-fought battle," said Andreescu. "I felt like it was a sweeter victory at the time. But this tournament is at home. I've dedicated so much hard work and sweat on that tennis court and in this gym, so this tournament is definitely ten times more special."
Andreescu, who lives close to the tournament site, got to win the event with her parents watching. "It's incredible because we've been through so much together," said the Canadian. "Just being able to hug them after was really, really nice. And I'd say that I would dedicate this trophy to them."
"But before the match, I was really, really nervous," Andreescu added. "I mean, I'm playing Serena in the finals of the Rogers Cup. So I was definitely nervous, but I think I handled the nerves really well. I mean, before situations or scenarios happen, I'm pretty anxious. But once things get going, then I'm totally cool."
The singles trophy went to a Canadian woman for the first time since Faye Urban won the event in 1969. "I would love to meet [Urban], I have never met her," said Andreescu. "She said that she had a feeling that I would win this tournament and that I'm a true champion in her eyes, which means so much to me coming from her."
— Rogers Cup (@rogerscup) August 11, 2019
After the match, Williams complimented Andreescu's character and poise after the match, calling the youngster "a fabulous personality" and an "old soul," explaining that "she definitely doesn't seem like a 19-year old in her words, on court and her game, her attitude, her actions."
"After I gave my speech, [Serena was] like, 'That was very mature of you, I wouldn't have given that when I was your age,'" Andreescu explained. "Coming from her, that means a lot."
"But, yeah, I would say I'm an old soul," Andreescu continued. "I love to read. I love to research on my own. I just love to learn, learn, learn, because I believe that knowledge is power and I enjoy doing that. I try my best to just become better and better, so I think that's where she sees that from."
At this point, Andreescu has lofty goals, one of which is potentially qualifying for the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen at the end of the season. "Just being part of that elite group would mean the world," said Andreescu. "I'm going to be playing against the best players in the world, so having my name beside theirs would mean a lot."
She also has her sights set on a possible Grand Slam triumph in the weeks to come. "This has definitely got my confidence level up here," Andreescu admitted, gesturing high. "Being able to deal with all the pressure and all the expectations from everyone. I'm just really proud with how I dealt with everything. And hopefully this win can give me momentum into the US Open."
With a smile, Andreescu referenced another huge recent moment in Canadian sports. "This is definitely going in Canadian history, both, for sure. Yeah, with the [NBA's Toronto] Raptors win, it was truly legendary. And hopefully this can be just as good."